The last installment of the guest post goes to comment regular Duke! Pedro will be back in an hour with a 0900 post!
Good morning boys and girls,
I want to move away from all the talk of Adebayor, getting his replacement in Ronaldo’s twin brother (Who is now Sunderland bound) and how shite he is, discussing if The Hunter would fit our team perfectly and if we should break our transfer record for him or how desperately we need a DM. Those are all good topics, but we have discussed them on Le Grove, over and over again. Everyone has their own opinion on those topics, but all we can agree on is that we need a DM. Well what we also desperately need is a CB. Why you ask? We’ve got six already, you shriek!
Well let me break it down for you.
Ade has left and hopefully we will sign Hunteelar, Cana, Mautuidi and Vidic today and my post will be useless.
However, as this is unlikely, here is my take…
Our centre backs for the upcoming season as I am writing are (in order of importance in my opinion) Gallas, Verma, Toure, Sanderos/JD, Song, and another one who I shall not mention in this post at all, hence previously stated six CB’s and not seven.
Our main problem has been the defence since we last won the League, let me demonstrate with some statistics… and please… stop complaining, sometimes they are useful, seriously stop, Denilson is the best DM in the League. Seriously, in the season of 2003-2004 we scored 73 goals (best in the league) and conceded 26 (best in the league). That is to be expected, that season will probably never be repeated by anyone in our life time. It is the one to remember, and it is the one you will be telling your great great grandchildren about, in turn your children will tell their grandchildren about, and their grandchildren will be telling theirs and… well, you get the point. That was a high point in most of our lives. So what do we expect after that? Well we expect to go on and become a dominant force through the decade like Man United did in the 90’s… it was not to be.
The 2004-2005 season came upon us. When we were everyone’s favourite the regain the title, but we finished a massive 12 points behind Roman’s Revolution. We did score 15 more goals that Chelsea though, we played some great football, what went wrong though? Why didn’t we win it? Well we conceded 36 goals, that is ten more than the season before, doesn’t sound too bad considering we scored 14 more than ourselves a season earlier. Well the answer is that Chelsea conceded only 15.
Moving onto the season of 2005-2006, now for the first time we have fallen out of the Top2 since Wenger took over, Chelsea were a new force on the block and that was expected. We weren’t just overtaken by our everlasting rivals Man United, and the new no-limit cash Chelsea, but also Liverpool. Finishing the season in 4th place, only two points ahead of Spurs, who if not poisoned, would probably take our oh so precious Champions League place. The reason? Well we conceded 31 goals, compared to Chelsea’s 22, and Liverpool’s 25. Man United did concede three goals more that us, but also scored four more. That season we finished 24 points of the top, even though scoring only four less than the Champions. We did however make the Champions League final, setting a new defensive record.
Season 2006-2007 sees us finish 4th again, conceding eight more than Man United and Liverpool and 11 more than Chelsea. With the worst goal difference in the Top4. Nothing else of note to mention that season regarding out subject.
Now we go to the season of 2007-2008 our best attempt at regaining the title. We finish 3rd and only four points off the top. This season is still fresh in all our minds, we all remember it, and we all have our theory why we didn’t win it. Mostly being that fateful day in Birmingham. But once again we conceded the most goals in the Top4. Wenger tells us that he sees the problem and that it is the defence and he will defiantly reinforce it, instead he sends Senderos out on loan, and gets Silvestre. Good reinforcement. We thought finally we will challenge, but instead we took another two steps back. Conceding 37 goals, against Man United’s 24. No point going into more depth as you all remember the season which just finished.
What was the point of me breaking all this down for you? Just to prove a simple point off, you build from the back, defence wins you titles. Take note Real Madrid.
Finally this transfer window we got a player in a position we have been begging for years. In comes Verma. I was ecstatic, I’ve seen the boy play for Ajax and he is class. However my childish happiness disapated when I analysed the situation, I realised we are in a very vulnerable position at CB.
Let me take you back to our best challenge in years again, the 2007-2008 season. We start the season with 6 Central Midfielders, sound familiar to our situation with CB’s this season? They are Cesc, Flamini, Gilberto, Diarra, Denilson, Song, and we could also throw in Diaby in there as we could throw in the CB I promised not to mention. But what happened at the end of the season? Flamini, Gilberto and Diarra are all gone, we are left with 2 players last in the picking order to partner Cesc, and knowing our luck, what happens? That’s right, Cesc get’s a long term injury. Not only do we not challenge, but we almost lose our 4th place, and take a huge step back.
Now what will happen at the end of this season? I don’t know, but what I do know for a fact, is that Gallas, Toure and Senderos are all in the last year of their contracts. So hypothetically at the end of the season Gallas would leave, he already said many times that he will at the end of his contract, Toure will leave because we didn’t give him enough playing time, and Sanderos will leave for the same reason or maybe because he stepped up, had a good season and does a Flamini. So what are we left with? Our new signing Verma, who might not be all that for Arsenal, JD and Song.
That’s right, Song, the same person who was a stop gap this season after Flamini left. So say Verma has a bad season, and it’s Gallas and Toure who play, or Gallas and Senderos. Then we are left with 3 CB’s who have been on the bench the whole season, and with no real partnership in the position where partnership is most important. Even if we buy a new CB next season, who do we pair him with? How good will be their understanding? How long will he take to settle in? Remember even Vidic took over a year before he started preforming, and that was next to Rio, not a player who was on the bench the season before.
The good news is that we gave new contracts to Fabianski, Gibbs, Jacky and Ramsey who all had 3-4 years left on the previous ones.
Defence is the part of the team which you don’t change around, you don’t substitute, it has to have the same players every week. Our 2 main Centre Backs from the last season could be both gone the season after next, if not in this summer window.
Wenger, Gazidis, whoever is in charge, please look what happened to our Central Midfield a season back, learn from your mistakes, that is how you become better. We always throw the book at the players saying “You never amount to anything after you leave Arsenal”. Well let’s give the Summer of 2008 Arsenal Transfers book to Wenger and tell him to take a look at the CM position, and then point to the last season and how our performances dropped.
Why do we always get a player we need a season too late?
Sign a new CB, extend at least one of the 3’s contract. Do something, make a move. Remember, if you concede the least goals over the course of the season, it will make you title contenders.
Duke Over and Out.